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Movie Reviews

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    Review: 'Little Birds' Has All The Insight Of An After-School Special

    There's a misconception about some films that utilize a specific location by gussying it up to be a paradise on camera. Often, the results are "Little Birds," which was shot on location at the Salton Sea of California, a formative place for impetuous Lily (Juno Temple) and Alison (Kay Panabaker). Th...

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    Review: 'For a Good Time, Call...' Doesn't Satisfy

    "For a Good Time, Call..." could be alternately titled "What People Will Do for an Apartment in New York." And the answer is pretty much anything, whether that be running a phone sex business or living with someone you hate for spilling pee on you. Note that in the world of "For a Good Time, Call......

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    Venice Review: 'Tai Chi 0' An Uneven, But Playful & Enjoyable Piece Of Kung Fu Pop Art

    Just as the nation as a whole sneaks up on surpassing the United States of America as the world’s foremost superpower (if it hasn’t already), China has become more and more important to the movie world in the last few years. Grosses for the relatively few American movies released there are huge (“Th...

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    Venice Review: Sarah Polley Examines Her Own Family In Lovely, Fascinating 'Stories We Tell'

    Sarah Polley has a secret. It’s a secret that, remarkably, she kept under wraps to all but friends and family until the film screened at the Venice Film Festival this morning. It’s a secret that’s seemingly informed her two directorial efforts to date, “Away From Her” and “Take This Waltz,” and is t...

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    Review: The Bondurant Boys Deal Moonshine & Violence In John Hillcoat's Lively 'Lawless'

    "It's not violence that sets men apart, it's the distance they're willing to go," Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) tells his youngest brother Jack (Shia LaBeouf) in "Lawless." And with a set of brass knuckles in his pocket and a pistol in his waistband, he knows what he&...

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    Review: 'The Possession' Wants To Be 'The Exorcist' But Comes Off Like A Lesser Episode Of 'The X-Files'

    In "The Possession," a new horror movie from Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's Ghost House production shingle, a young girl becomes infatuated and then, yes, possessed by a dubious Jewish spirit that had been kept imprisoned in a wooden box. As far as horror movie premises go, this one is pretty outlandish...

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    Venice Review: Mira Nair's 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' A Heavy-Handed Look At A Post 9/11 World

    Opening films at festivals are always worth approaching with a little caution. Normally given out-of-competition slots, it’s often a signal that the films have been selected to bring some starry names, and the attention that goes with them to the red carpet, or to make some kind of mission statement...

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    Lawless—movie review

    When a movie has as much going for it as this one, it’s discouraging when it doesn’t deliver on its promise. Yet 'Lawless' pulls the magician’s trick of distraction, offering enough superficial entertainment value—with atmospheric use of locations, charismatic actors, and spurts of shocking violence...

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    Review: Pascal Laugier's 'The Tall Man' An Unfocused & Silly Horror Tale

    A few years ago there was a sort of mini-horror movie renaissance in France, with a bunch of talented young directors paying homage to their favorite American horror films the only way they knew how – by making them incredibly French. Under the stewardship of older French genre provocateurs (like Lu...

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    Venice Review: Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 'Penance' Is An Absorbing 4 1/2 Hour Drama That Falters At Its Ending

    For all the talk of auteurs working on the small screen, and helping to bring in a new golden age of television – Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann etc. – it’s hardly a phenomenon only made up of HBO’s current output. Ingmar Bergman and Rainer Werner Fassbinder both turned to television in the 1980s, fo...

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